Sat, Feb 09, 2013 - Page 8 News List


Bilateral, not trilateral

The Feb. 8 editorial titled “The art of choosing sides” (page 8) mentioned the “strategic ambiguity” as reported by the Agence France-Presse in an interview with Representative to the US King Pu-tsung (金溥聰). It was a misquote and was corrected in various media reports later.

The “strategic ambiguity” mentioned by King during the interview was not referring to the trilateral relationship among Taiwan, China and the US, but rather only to relations between Taiwan and China.

The “strategic ambiguity” refers to cross-strait relations, which are handled based on the “1992 consensus” between Taiwan and mainland China which says there is only one China, but with different interpretations because each side is free to interpret what “China” means. This ambiguity and the sovereignty that the Republic of China (Taiwan) government asserts serve as the best shield for our 23 million citizens.

As to the trilateral ties among Taiwan, the US and China, King believes that the three parties need to maintain a balanced and stable relationship.

Frank Yee Wang

Director, Press Division,

Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States

Views on China’s censorship

I fully concur with the editorial about China’s influence over the media (“Old tactics on Chinese media failing,” Jan. 9, page 8).

Having lived in China for the past 10 years, it is clear that censorship and press freedom have not improved. News from Hong Kong TV which I can receive is heavily censored.

The range of books is very limited, the Web has all kinds of limitations and discussion of anything seen as critical of the system is not allowed. “We don’t talk about it” is a comment I hear often.

Coming to Taiwan and seeing the range of books, magazines and newspapers available is like being let out of prison and it is quite clear that the mindset of the people here is completely different. For example, students, have world knowledge that Chinese students do not have and for some reason they do not seem to go out of their way to improve it.

It is frightening to me how adept China is at propaganda and controlling people’s minds. They are very good at it and you can see the beginnings of this now in Hong Kong.

Tom King

Zhuhai, China

Empirical fishing rights

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs raised a curious point as it attempted to clarify Taiwan’s position on the Diaoyutai Islands (Letter, Feb. 4, page 8). I quote from point 3: “The waters surrounding the Diaoyutai Islands have been a traditional fishing ground for Taiwanese fishermen for more than a century.”

Clear enough, but since it is now 2013, more than a century ago would be 1913, a time when all Taiwanese would have been citizens of the Japanese Empire.

Is the ministry not saying then that Taiwanese fishermen claim their fishing rights from a time when they were joined to the Japanese Empire (post-1895) and were allowed to fish within its waters?

Thus, when Taiwan left that empire in 1945, would Taiwanese fishermen have to forgo their fishing rights in those waters and should any continued fishing there be seen more as “poaching?” It seems unclear as to whose side the ministry is on.

Jerome Keating


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